Cancun: Museo Maya de Cancun

Hola everyone!  By now you are probably wondering how I was able to go on this trip in the midst of the school year, aren’t you?  Well…fortunately it was only 2 week days so I wasn’t missing a lot of school, but in order to not have them marked as unexcused absences, I had to do something educational.  Mom had researched a couple of things, and after talking it over, we decided that going to the Museo Maya de Cancun sounded the best.

The museum is relatively new, built in 2012 after the previous museum was severely damaged by a hurricane.  It has a decent sized collection of Mayan artifacts, as well as adjoining the grounds of the San Miguelito ruins.  We were all amazed at how well preserved some of these artifacts are.  A few items are repoductions too.  The biggest issue we had: most all of the signs explaining what they were are written in Spanish!  Oh well, it was still fun seeing something so old.

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Something cool I have to tell you–twice we had someone recognize me as an American Girl doll!  The first time was while we were in the museum, a woman from Canada came over and started talking to mom and asked her a lot of questions about me.  Turns out she was a doll collector too!  Hopefully she will stop by the blog and say “Hi!”

The second time was while we were out by the ruins.  There was a little girl with her parents and she tried to talk to mom.  Mom laughed and said “sorry, no habla Espanol.” (I don’t speak Spanish)  The little girl replied something, but the only part of it that any of us could make out was “American Girl”!  Mom replied “si!” and the little girl got a big grin on her face.  We all thought that was pretty funny.  Mom had several incidents while we were there where language was a bit of a barrier, but if you find one or two common words, you can eventually get the ideas across.

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Check out this cool sculpture!  Mom said it looked like a giant alebrije, a type of sculpture from Oaxaca.  She and dad have two small ones, a lizard and a porcupine.  I don’t think this one would fit in the house.

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It’s a pretty good hike from the museum itself to the ruins, but it’s mostly in the shade.   These ruins aren’t as impressive as Chichen Itza or Tulum, but they served a very important purpose to the Mayan trade routes as this was the first stop for traffic coming across the ocean.

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Something that we all thought was very interesting about Cancun–as a city, it didn’t really exist until around 1970!  Prior to that it was a coconut plantation with only 3 residents.  Now just a mere 40 years later it has numerous hotels which contain over 36,000 rooms, several shopping malls and an airport.  These ruins and another group of them just down the road a ways were all discovered as some of the development in the area progressed.

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Every so often there is a bench where you can take a break. It was quite a walk and it kept sounding like thunder off in the distance, we were hoping we didn’t end up drenched.

Cancun day 3.1 photo 8Isn’t this tree interesting?  I loved how the roots looked like legs or arms.  It could have been used in Harry Potter.

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Remains of another building on the grounds.

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I’m looking a little worse for wear here, aren’t I? It was a long hike, that’s for sure! But check out that creature beside me–yes it’s an iguana! They are all over the place here, it’s kind of a sad story though. As hotel development has increased, it has destroyed their natural living spaces. So they have come here and to the other ruins site to live. This one was one of the smaller ones we saw while we were there. They don’t bother the people, in fact I don’t think he was too wild about me being so close! We saw several sunbathing on one of the other buildings, but they were hard to make out because they blended right in.
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Behind me is the largest structure on the site as well as being the best preserved. Hard to believe that it is around 800 years old!

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This is the back of the same building.

Overall, this was a nice way to get a taste of Mayan history and culture without having to travel a great distance. One admission fee covers both the museum and the ruins and was only a couple of dollars American. I guess I’d better get started on my report about it now!